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How Can We Motivate the Students and Strengthening Their Self-Confidence by Using the Theory of Multiple Intelligence?

By Pleomax26 Mar 19, 2011 2073 Words
How can we motivate the students and strengthening their self-confidence by using the theory of Multiple Intelligence?


First I would like to start to discuss why motivation and self-confidence is important in general for the students. I think when we want to teach or make the students will stronger, these basic needs are essential.” Motivation is the characteristic that is required in order to achieve anything in life; without it we will give up at the first sign of adversity. It means to inspire, instigate and encourage a person to do their best”[1]. Regarding to Self-confidence, I would say it’s very important to be certain and trusting about you, in certain tasks or in all tasks. We can define it as a following: "Self-confidence is a term used to describe how secure a person is in their own decisions and actions. This can be applied generally or to specific situations or tasks.”[2] I was reading and studying a lot about the theory of multiple intelligence, by Howard Gardner. That is why I chose this topic, and to show how I think it’s possible to strengthen student’s motivation and self confidence by using multiple intelligence theory as a pedagogical method in the classroom.

Setting the stage

Then I would like to talk about what is my look upon different contents.

• In my ideal of world I would say my human outlook is that, some of us loosing the goal of doing and creating some of us are way ahead. Some really need to follow somebody and some become individual. So in this way humans are divided. But this is not the only way how we are divided. If we are divided in many levels how could we still find the balance? To find a balance, we need two things, which need be balanced, that we have. Now we need the people in the middle who makes the two plate work and be balanced instead of braking down. To find the way how this big society can work, with the so many different people inside.

• How I see the society today in my country, is that one part of the people are believing in the old “system” that “they” will take care and things will happen and the other part of the people want to create and do new. But until the “leaders”, “they” are not from the “new generation” they will never have the kind of thoughts, which is needed to create The New. They grow up and have seen a different kind of life examples. I think to create a good and working society is needed a kind of teaching system which creates people who are able to think, make decisions, deal with problems, find solutions,…etc., thinkers, who are able to act and do in the present situation for the future. Learners, who are able to see and learn, even without teachers, using their motivation and interest for the new, for the possibilities which are working.

• Dannelse is for me a modern concept, a discussion I only started to have now. A debate how can people be educated and helped to reach the level of being able to act and do. It creates a kind of student, who is getting used to make decisions, deal with problems, create, and take responsibility…etc, from the early school years. So they will be able to implement their knowledge in practise later - in certain situations - when its time for their generation to act and not getting shocked by changes.

• In my opinion to learn is a never ending process, which is in our blood from the beginning, from childhood. From the moment we are born, we are motivated to learn and every student is motivated to learn something. It’s one of the basic needs of people, which can be oppressed, blinded, and ruled by the society. In a way that, what you learn and how, is given by others instead of chosen. To learn is a very important process of development, either in a case of individuals or in the whole society.


What is motivation?

Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal. Motivation will compel a person to think "If I can't, then I must" and will cause them to do whatever it takes to become successful. If the students experience motivation, then it can change their life. They will be inspired to get what they want regardless of what people tell them that they can not do. Motivation, like intelligence, can’t be directly observed. Instead, motivation can only be inferred by noting a person’s behaviour.

What is self confidence?

Self Confidence is something that anyone can learn, and often much easier than they think. It is not something we have from day one, but instead something that we develop through our upbringing. Our self confidence is influenced by the people around us and how they encourage us. We can define self confidence: “Self-confidence primarily refers to us having a positive and realistic perception of ourselves and our abilities. A lack of self-confidence, on the other hand, is characterized by: self- doubt, passivity, submissiveness, over-conformity, isolation, sensitivity to criticism, distrust, depression, and feelings of inferiority and being unloved.” [3] The theory of Multiple Intelligence

Now I would like to write about the theory of my topic, what do I mean under multiple intelligences and what kind of intelligences do I include in it. The theory of multiple intelligences was developed in 1983 by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University. It suggests that the traditional notion of intelligence, based on I.Q. testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposes eight different intelligences to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences are:

|[pi|Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"): | |c] | | |[pi|Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Spatial intelligence ("picture smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence ("body smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Musical intelligence ("music smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart") | |c] | | |[pi|Naturalist intelligence ("nature smart")[4] | |c] | |

So now let’s have a look how can we implement the theory of Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom and using it to strengthen the student’s motivation and self confidence. By using this theory firstly we need to find out, what are the strong sides of the students, so by using different methods we can make them aware of their power on themselves. With the reference of Thomas Armstrong (1994), I would like to show four points, which are listed below to display a few of the key ideas of MI theory: • First, each person possesses capacities in all intelligences. Some people perform extremely high levels of functioning in all intelligences while others tend not to show many, if any. • Second, most people have the capacity to develop each intelligence to an adequate level of competency. The combination of the environmental influences such as school instruction, parents, and exposure to cultural activities can strengthen or weaken certain intelligence. If given appropriate instruction and encouragement, all intelligences can develop and reach to a higher level. • Third, intelligences usually work together in complex ways. No intelligence works alone because intelligences always interact with each other. For example, to make a cake, one should read the receipt, weigh the flour, and decide the flavor to satisfy all members of the family and one’s own preference. The process of making a cake needs the intelligences such as linguistic, logical-mathematical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences. • Fourth, there are many ways to be intelligent within each category. In other words, one can perform each intelligence in different ways. For example, if a bodily-kinesthetic person cannot dance well, but the person is still highly bodily-kinesthetic because he can make manual products well. So, to straighten a student self confidence and motivation, I think it’s important to find out, what learning style fits better for each individual. By finding what the strong sides of each student are, then we can find the best way for them to reach the same goal as the others, although the students might not been on the same level. Let’s say some students are very strong in math and others are not. Then to make the ones who are not that strong, stronger and give back their self confidence in class and motivation to know more, we need to find the best way, the best learning style of each individual, which they can accept and get familiar as a learning process. For example: some students can learn more effectively, if they have a music in the background ( musical Intelligence), or through lyrics and song, some can learn more by seeing examples or just simply use their own body (Bodily-Kinaesthetic intelligence ) to complete the task. So if we use different kind of teaching methods in practice, then we can give the possibility to each student to complete the same goal and reach the same level as the others. In this way we can keep not just peace and balance in the classroom, but also create a nice atmosphere for studying. I also would like to mention another kind of teaching style model which in my opinion is similar and sharing the same basic ideas as Howard Gardner, agreeing that by finding the right teaching method for each student, then most student can reach higher level not just in education but in the real life also. Dr. Rita Dunn and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Dunn, are American researchers on the topic of Different Teaching and Learning styles. The Dunn and Dunn Learning Style Model: the Dunns identified 21 elements that people react to while concentrating on new and difficult academic knowledge or skills. These 21 elements fall under 5 categories: • Environmental: light, sound, temperature, formal/informal arrangement • Emotional: motivation, persistence, responsibility, structure/choices • Sociological: self, pair, peer, teams, adult lead, variety of work groups • Physiological: food intake needs, mobility, time of day, perception (visual, aural, kinaesthetic, • Psychological: big picture first, linear, sequential, impulsive, reflective This model is based on the theory that:

• Most individuals can learn
• Instructional environments, resources, and approaches respond to diversified strengths • Everyone has strengths, but different people have different strengths • Individual instructional preferences exist and can be measured reliably • Given responsive environments, students attain statistically higher achievement and aptitude test scores in [classes that match their learning styles] • Teachers can learn to use learning styles as a cornerstone of their instruction • Students can learn to capitalize on their learning style strengths when concentrating on new and difficult material [5] Conclusion

So as we can see there are different teaching and learning styles which we can use and through help and strengthen the students different needs. Like self confidence and motivation. We as teachers have to find the right which fits on our students to reach students, from the view of theirs, not from ours. What is right way of teaching? Which is the right was a learning? I would say it is an individual question just as the answer. But by using different kind of methods to reach our and the students goal can be one of the answer. Of course we can not implement in each situation these theories and ways of teaching. There are some cases where we have to use special teaching methods (autistic,…) Now I can say, that I think to find the right teaching method, style is very important of the development of the student. So to motivate the students by finding the best interest of theirs, we can make their self confidence stronger. We can also strengthen their self confidence and make them believe what the do it’s good and they can decide what they want to do, what are they motivated, can change their life. I see our job is to help them to find their way of confidence in their self and by finding it using the motivation to make the next and the next step in their life. [pic] -----------------------

[1] Susan Velez 2008: What is Motivation
[2] Wikipedia: How do we define Self-confidence
[3] University at Buffalo Self-confidence
[4] 1998-2000 Dr. Thomas Armstrong: Multiple Intelligences
[5] Suzanne C. Shaffer 2008 The Pennsylvania State University: The Dunn & Dunn Model

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